Seattle
Cameron Tyson and the Seattle U Redhawks are off to their best start in 58 years after sweeping a Texas road trip. Courtesy Sarah Finney/Seattle U Athletics.

Seattle Off to Best Start in 58 Years, Bearkats Sweep, Other WAC Notes

If you haven’t heard of the Seattle U Redhawks by now, well, then you are missing out. See, the Redhawks have this trio of guards that is arguably one of the best in the country. Darrion Trammell, Cameron Tyson and Riley Grigsby account for  60 percent of the Redhawks scoring. Tyson leads Seattle at 16.6 points per game. Trammell averages 16.1 points and Grigsby averages 13.9 points.

Trammell leads WAC in steals with 51 total for the 2021-22 season and 16 in conference play. Tyson shoots a little over 44 percent from 3-point land. And Grigsby is about as reliable as they come.

At 15-4 overall, Seattle is off to its best start in 58 years. At 6-0 in WAC play, the Redhawks are the lone unbeaten team in the league. And, what’s even more impressive is that then-head coach Jim Hayford resigned a few days before the 2021-22 season started due to the use of a racial term at a closed scrimmage. Associate head coach Chris Victor took over as the interim head coach and Seattle has not looked back.

Seattle is coming off a weekend road sweep. The Redhawks beat Abilene Christian, 72-62, on Thursday and then beat Tarleton, 76-68, on Saturday.

“That was the ultimate team win,” said Interim Head Coach Chris Victor after the win over Tarleton. “Tarleton is a tough, well coached team and are very hard to beat in Stephenville. For our guys to step up and find a way to win that game was special and shows what we are made of. Texas has been great to us, but we can’t wait to get back home and back in front of our fans in Seattle.”

The Redhawks host Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at Climate Pledge Arena and Sam Houston on Saturday at the Redhawk Center.

Bearkats Continue to Grind Out Wins

Savion Flagg knew it was going to happen. And I am sure the entire locker room at Sam Houston knew it was going to happen. Most media members, fans and so forth probably didn’t see it coming. But, that’s why we play the games. Flagg and the Bearkats have made believers out of most. There’s still one fan base that are not believers. But, we won’t discuss that.

Flagg and the Bearkats made a statement on Thursday. Flagg hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the game and Sam Houston rolled to a 71-46 win over New Mexico State. What is even more impressive is that Flagg was on the bench the majority of the first half with a pair of fouls and Sam Houston still took a 20-point lead into the break. Flagg finished with 22 points in the contest that was really never close. The Bearkats jumped out to a 10-0 lead and even pushed the lead to 30 in the second half.

New Mexico State finally got some offense going late when the game was already out of hand.

Following the big Thursday win, there was a bit of a let down, per se. But, despite trailing GCU nearly all of the first half, Sam Houston found a way to win. The Bearkats used a solid defensive effort against what head coach Jason Hooten referred as one of the best defensive teams they have played, to beat GCU, 58-56, on Saturday.

With the win, Sam Houston improves to 7-1 in WAC play and 12-9 overall. Since losing to Bradley at the Sun Bowl Class in December, the Bearkats have won eight of their last nine. Sam Houston goes on the road this week to the West Coast. The Bearkats will face California Baptist on Wednesday and then head north to take on Seattle on Saturday.

Conference Winning Streak Alive and Well for CBU Women

The last time the California Baptist women lost a conference game was February 26, 2020. Utah Valley beat up on the Lancers, 74-57, Orem. Since that time, the CBU women have won 23 straight conference games. Technically, if we want to count the 2021 WAC tournament, the Lancers have won 25 straight conference games.

Jarrod Olson has a veteran squad in 2021-22 led by preseason Player of the Year Ane Olaeta. The defending champs returned most of their roster from the 2020-21 season. Caitlyn Harper has been playing at a high level and they even have a freshman guard in Trinity San Antonio who has played big minutes for the Lancers.

It is a big week for CBU who goes to Sam Houston and then at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday. Saturday’s matchup could decide the WAC regular season crown. Both SFA and CBU are undefeated in WAC play. The Lancers are 15-2 overall and the Jacks are 14-3. CBU is a perfect 6-0 in WAC play. SFA is 5-0. So, you can see why this is a big week for hoops on the women’s side.

UTA Officially Joins the WAC

The WAC is adding another Texas school. On Friday, the official announcement came that UT-Arlington is joining the WAC beginning July 1, 2022. The Mavericks are the third team joining the WAC at that time. Southern Utah and Incarnate Word will also be joining the WAC. This will give the WAC 15 institutions for the 2022-23 school year. The Mavericks are technically re-joining the WAC. UTA was a member in 2012-13 before leaving for the Sun Belt Conference.

The Mavericks do not have a football team. But will be competing in the WAC in 15 varsity sports.

“As Mavericks, we pride ourselves on the pursuit of excellence in the classroom and on the playing field,” said Teik C. Lim, UTA interim president. “This move expands our geographic footprint to the west coast and creates exciting new competitive opportunities and partnerships for our university and our fellow WAC members. We view this as a win-win for UTA and the WAC, and as a university, we look forward to the change and the challenges ahead.”

Big Games Saturday

Yes, there are midweek conference games. But, looking ahead a bit, there are some big time games on Saturday. Arguably the biggest game is between New Mexico State and Grand Canyon. The Lopes won a share of the WAC regular season title last season and then won the WAC tournament by beating up on the Aggies. In fact, GCU beat New Mexico State three times in 2020-21. The year before, New Mexico State won the WAC regular season crown and was the favorite to win the WAC tournament before it got canceled due to COVID. Tip off is Saturday at 7 p.m. MT on ESPN+.

Another big game on Saturday is Sam Houston at Seattle. Yes, Seattle has to get by Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday. But, if the Redhawks improve to 7-0 in WAC play, this is a big matchup. Sam Houston is 7-1 in WAC play and if they get by CBU could set up a showdown for first place on Saturday at the Redhawk Center.

On the women’s side, California Baptist at Stephen F. Austin has regular season champion implications written all over it. Both teams are undefeated in WAC play and the teams are a combined 29-5 this season. It could have Player of the Year implications with Ane Olaeta and Stephanie Visscher going head-to-head.

 

 

 

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